Practice + Pancakes: Zane Grothe Goes the Distance… Kick

SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.

It was another wonderful day in Bloomington, Indiana. And that means another wonderful day of fast swimming. On this Tuesday morning, there were 2 groups in the water at the Hoosiers’ practice. While assistant Kirk Grand hasn’t quite made the trek out west to Colorado Springs yet, the sprint group are already starting to transition to the style of new coach Jonty Skinner. This was the first week that Grand was implementing Skinner’s workouts at IU, and this was the same workout that Skinner had his sprinters doing in Tuscaloosa that day. While it is more of an “aerobic” workout for the sprint group, make no mistake. They’re still going fast.

On the other side of the pool, for everyone else Tuesday mornings means kick set. Todays was fairly simple:




Depending on your kicking proficiency, interval bases ranged from 1:45-1:30. The exception: Zane Grothe, who did it all straight through on a 1:25 base. This was highlighted by a strong finish on his final 100, clocking a 1:14 100m kick to cap the set.

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That’s pretty good in yards. Can’t even imagine holding those paces in a LCM pool. Absolutely silly.


Everyone who disliked this comment must not understand what it is like to be a slow kicker.

Samuel Huntington

What, holding 1:25 for kick LCM?!? How is that possible..

Honest Observer

I remember reading once that Ian Thorpe did a set of 5 x 100 LCM kick @ 4:00 holding 1:01’s. I doubt Grothe could match that; but I’m also not sure Thorpe would have been able to do what Grothe just did.


I have a feeling Thorpe would have been able to do the set Grothe did. Not only was Thorpe a faster swimmer but he was all legs when he swam. So my guess is that he was a pretty strong kicker too.

Ol' Longhorn

He has size 17 feet. Phelps has size 14. Pretty sure both he could’ve done the Grothe set.

College Swimmer

Yeah with his size 16 feet or whatever they were. Like having fins surgically implanted into your feet!

Ol' Longhorn

Also helps that Grothe has a stick figure upper body for kicking with a board. When he was on the blocks next to Dressel for the 200 free at one of the recent meets, he looked like he got up for the wrong heat.


doesn’t he use the “brick” kick board? the thing is weighted so it definitely makes it way harder than kicking on a normal board

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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